03 January 2020 16:44
The Quadrantids meteor shower will put on a bright, but brief show late Friday into early Saturday morning (Jan. 3-4). Over 100 meteors per hour will be visible, with the peak timing 4 a.m. Saturday. Shooting stars will originate from near the constellation Ursa Major, more commonly known as the Big Dipper. However, shooting stars will be visible in all areas of the sky. The meteor shower can be viewed all across North America.
Viewing conditions will be very good in North Texas. Skies will be clear and the moon will be low in the horizon reducing the amount of light pollution. The meteor shower is set to peak tonight, going into the early hours of January 4. According to the International Meteor Organisation, the best viewing will occur shortly before 8am GMT, with those in the Northern Hemisphere likely to get front row seats. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich said that the best place to watch the shower is away from major cities where there is little light pollution.
It said: "For the best conditions, you want to find a safe location away from street lights and other sources of light pollution." The world-famous London-based observatory added no special equipment is needed to view this meteor shower. It said: "The meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky, so it's good to be in a wide-open space where you can scan the night sky." NASA advised: "Come prepared for winter weather with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Quadrantids meteor shower UK: Where is the best place to watch? NASA has called it "one of the best annual meteor showers", however the meteors are faint so are easy to miss in the night sky "Lie flat on your back with your feet facing northeast and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. "In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. "Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse." However, as is often the case with the UK during January, the majority of the country is expected to be overshadowed by cloudy skies, making the spectacle even harder to see. READ MORE: Feeding black holes grow 'bigger, stronger, deadlier' scientist warns The Quarantids are named after a constellation that no longer exists. The meteors appear to come from the now-defunct constellation Quadrans Muralis. The constellation was discovered in 1795 by a French astronomer, but is no longer recognised by the International Astronomical Union and is today considered part of the constellation of Bootes. To find the radiant point where the meteors appear to originate from, look for the constellation Bootes. DON'T MISS Astronomy WARNING: View of Universe under THREAT NASA was wrong? Astronomers challenge NASA on weight of the Milky Way Alien discovery: 'Blinking' stars throughout galaxy could be ET Meteor facts Trending